FDA issues draft guidance for Alzheimer’s drug development


Hannah Blake


The US FDA has issued proposal guidance to assist companies developing new treatments for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, before the onset of noticeable (overt) dementia.

Titled “Guidance for Industry, Alzheimer’s Disease: Developing Drugs for the Treatment of Early Stage Disease”, the draft guidance explains the FDA’s current thinking about the way researchers can identify and select patients with early Alzheimer’s disease, or those who are at risk of developing the disease, for participation in clinical trials.

“The scientific community and the FDA believe that it is critical to identify and study patients with very early Alzheimer’s disease before there is too much irreversible injury to the brain. It is in this population that most researchers believe that new drugs have the best chance of providing meaningful benefit to patients.

“This draft guidance is intended to serve as a focus for continued discussions between the FDA and pharmaceutical sponsors, the academic community, advocacy groups, and the public. The FDA is committed to vigorously addressing Alzheimer’s disease and will work with industry to help develop new treatments in this early population as expeditiously as possible.”

Russell Katz, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks of daily living. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people.

The FDA is seeking public comment on the draft guidance for 60 days, before finalizing the document.


Related news:

U.S. FDA outlines path to test Alzheimer's drugs earlier (Reuters)

Reference links:

FDA press release



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13 February, 2013